Last month it was that time of the year when South Africa and the world…
In his article in the Mail and Guardian of 5 April 2012, published under the headline “Making sense of the indefensible”, Hein Marais used the word ‘denialist’ three times and ‘denialism’ ten times. He is attempting to show that former President Thabo Mbeki and his inner circle mishandled the Aids epidemic. He writes, “Together, they are said to have devised and enforced an irrational and deadly set of positions that, according to one study, led to about 330,000 avoidable deaths”. Let us examine how irrational and deadly is the position of the so-called “Aids denialists”.
I will begin by quoting from a study which stated that, “Over the years, Aids researchers have pointed to sub-Saharan Africa – Uganda, in particular – as the epicentre of the so-called Aids epidemic. It has been estimated that one in 40 Africans will die of Aids, and that Aids will account for 500,000 deaths a year by the year 2000. But in recent years, some Aids researchers have come forward to question not only the validity of those projections, but the very notion that Aids is pandemic in Africa”.
The makers of “Aids in Africa” one of the “Dispatches” series of documentaries, investigated Aids in sub-Saharan Africa and reached some startling conclusions. Dr. Harvey Bialy said that there was “absolutely no believable evidence of immunodeficiency disease in Africa”. Likewise, Professor Gordon Stewart, the only researcher to accurately predict Aids statistics in the United Kingdom, found no evidence of an Aids epidemic in Africa and believes that statements of doom should be avoided.
While I am not an ANC member and will probably never be one, the rubbishing of the late Dr. Mantombazana Tshabalala-Msimang on trumped-up charges by The Citizen columnist, Michael Coetzee and condemning her in the manner he did should and will not go unchallenged, (The Citizen, December 24. 2009).
It is absolute twaddle to concoct outrageous statistics that in 40 years the Apartheid regime killed only 2000 while HIV/AIDS kills 1000 people every day. Millions of Africans died of preventable diseases, malnutrition in the mines and prisons. What about cross-border raids and Apartheid South Africa’s destabilization of the Frontline states in the then SADCC region in the 1970’s and 1980’s that resulted in the deaths of more than 5 million children, according to a UNICEF report during that time?